This column first was published as the “President’s Message” in the September 2011 newsletter of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.
The board of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists has been cleaning up after the party in Detroit. While washing glasses and emptying the trash, we share the usual mix of gleeful recollection of anecdotes and recriminations about disasters that could’ve been worse, just like any reunion or New Year’s shindig.
This conversation has continued longer than usual, out of necessity. Yet for feeling like the NSNC world is crashing in a bit, our data are looking pretty good. What color is the elephant in the room?
See over there, by the filing cabinet? That’s the national recession; if it’s a double-dip, where was the boomlet in the middle? Look here, on my desk, the print media are imploding (as are video media). Journalism will continue in some form, as will our leg of the profession — commentary and reflection — but individually we may not be able to wait for the toner to dry on what forms it will take.
Our numbers are stored in a trunk that we open in our bimonthly online board meetings. Also, our executive director hauls it to every conference: Each conferee gets the financial reports stapled to the agenda of the annual general membership meeting.
Those who studied them — especially our new officers (Vice President Larry Cohen, Treasurer Jim Casto and Membership Chair Rose Valenta in two-year posts and Social Media Chair Tracy Beckerman as a one-year member) — were struck by the numbers for the conference, membership, contest and financial.
We are asking if the conference is an endangered species. Can we afford to hold one in 2012? What aspects would have to change to avoid canceling our annual education and advocacy party?
If we lost money Continue reading